Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

More officiating goodness

While you’re stewing over the Penalty (if I capitalized the Celebration, I might as well do the same thing for that), check out this clean hit that concluded the Notre Dame-Washington game (h/t EDSBS)…

and compare it to this incredibly flagrant violation by Reshad Jones in the OSU game.

Not that it’ll ever happen – there are too many little fiefdoms to be protected – but the NCAA ought to insist on a central officiating body for all of D-1.  There’s simply too much at stake in some cases to justify the almost random application of the rule book that we see from week to week.


UPDATE: Count Vince Dooley in the break-a-few-eggs-to-make-an-omelet school of thought with regard to the excessive celebration rule.

“Over a long period of time, it’s done well,” Dooley said. “There is too much individualism. It’s a team game. It’s hard for these guys because they see what the NFL players are doing on Sunday. I think it’s controlled college football for 15 years. The rule is good. It hurts when it goes against you, and it’s great when it goes for you.”

If only A.J. would quit watching so much damned TV and focus more on being the best player he could be, things never would have come to what they did Saturday night.


UPDATE #2: And if you really want to get pissed off, make sure you watch this version of AJ’s catch.


UPDATE #3: Oh no, he di’int!

The excessive celebration penalty against Georgia’s A.J. Green late in Saturday’s game with LSU should not have been called, the SEC supervisor of officials has told CBSSports.com.

Rogers Redding, the SEC supervisor of officials, said Monday that after reviewing video of the play, “I’ve concluded that it was one that we probably should have let go.”

Probably. So I guess he’s not completely sure. But they feel terrible.

“We tell our guys not to go looking for this stuff but if it’s right in your face, you have to call it,” Redding said. “He (the SEC official) is beating himself up pretty bad over this one.”

I’m guessing there are more than a few folks who would be happy to pitch in if he needs help.

Look, it’s not like this guy missed a crucial call. I can understand feeling ripped up inside about something like that. But he made this one up. I’ve got no sympathy.


UPDATE #4: Back to Dooley

Vince’s verdict on the attempt to curtail celebration: “It’s good for college football, even though there were times when it hurt me …  But I can defend it when people say, ‘It’s a stupid rule.’ “

With all due respect, you’re missing the point, Coach.  It’s not a stupid rule.  It’s a rule that’s applied stupidly.



Filed under College Football, The NCAA

I know you are, but what am I?

“We’ve got to get a lot better on special teams. It’s hurting us a lot right now.”

No, that’s not Mark Richt saying that.  It’s his opposing head coach this week.

… UT missed kicks, punts, returners and blocks in another disappointing effort by its special teams, a performance that helped keep the Vols winless in the SEC and send them back to the conference undercard for next week’s home date with Georgia (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.).

“The momentum of missing the field goal on the opening drive and (then) the extra point, then having a couple (long) kickoff returns did not help us special teams-wise either,” Kiffin said. “I thought we lost in all three phases, which is very disappointing, especially for our SEC home opener.

Sounds like we’ve got all the makings of a classic coming up.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football

Another Mumme Poll update

As of this morning, we’ve increased the number of participants from the number we started with last year tenfold.  Color me impressed.

It’s still not too late for you to jump in.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Upon further review: Georgia-LSU

Usually when I watch the replay after I’ve been to the game live, I’m conscious of tempering my Saturday impressions.  I figure generally that I’m overly optimistic after a win and tend to overstate the bad after a loss.

Not so much this week, brother.  In fact, I think I owe Mike Bobo an apology for lumping his playcalling in the same category with the overall play and direction of the special teams (minus Drew Butler, of course).  I’m officially moving him from the land of the ugly to the merely bad, because special teams deserve to be in a category all their own.

Part of my frustration stems from the obvious:  the fundamentals of blocking are so clearly missing on kickoffs and kickoff returns.  Not that there were too many to evaluate, but on every kickoff return, LSU had players in position to tackle the ball carrier before he could get up much of a head of steam.  On the other side, Holiday had plenty of real estate to scoot through, especially, as I noted yesterday, on that second run back that set up the winning score.  It’s apparent to me that not enough time or attention is being given to making sure players on special teams know what they’re doing.

I’m not looking for Urban Meyer levels of self-promotion here (hey, look at how we make special teams special at Florida!), just a willingness to put the effort into making sure that players know their roles and purpose and execute them competently.  That we’re complaining about this for as extended a period as we have tells me that there’s a structural flaw here in Richt’s approach that he needs to address immediately.

But even more disappointing than the kickoff game is what Georgia did on punt returns (and there were plenty of those in the second half).  Four punts, zero return yardage.  There wasn’t even an attempt made to return one.  Georgia had Logan Gray fielding a punt on its own forty.  Nor did Georgia ever attempt to put any pressure on the punter, including the golden opportunity the defense gave the punt return team after the first defensive series of the second half when LSU had to punt from inside its own two yard line.

Richt’s explanation?

… the use of Logan Gray on punts is in large part because Georgia is using essentially its regular defensive unit to prevent a fake.

That is the essence of why Georgia came up on the short end of the stick Saturday.  This staff has grown fearful of being aggressive.  I don’t know if that’s because they’ve come to distrust their players’ instincts, or if it was some lame attempt to cut down on turnovers.  In any event, it’s not winning football.

LSU had 44 yards of punt returns.  Georgia had none.  On kickoff returns, Holiday’s average (44.5 yards) was almost equal to Georgia’s total (48 yards).  You can’t concede that kind of yardage in a tight game like the one we saw.  Besides that, what kind of message are you sending your players when you make tactical decisions like that?


UPDATE: David Hale replays Georgia’s greatest hits… um, kicks… um, misses… oh, hell, you get the idea.


UPDATE #2: Paul has another special teams concern.


Filed under Georgia Football

If it’s not saved, it never happened.

Thith, ath they thay, ith not thurprithing.

Last season we twice checked on the picking prowess of ESPN’s Lou Holtz and Mark May during a bonus segment called “Take Your Pick.” The dynamic duo combined to go a disastrous 3-17 picking winners straight up in a two-week stretch. Unfortunately those precious videos are now “unavailable.”

Certainly the new season would bring clarity to their selections and restore some level of credibility, wouldn’t it? Jiminy Christmas, were we wrong.

Holtz and May went a combined 2-6 this past week, including a perfect 0-4 by Lou-Do. We’d love to embed the video, but get this — embedding has been disabled by request! Seriously, has come to this? Are their straight-up selections so god-awful that the World Wide Leader is too embarrassed to allow embedding?

I’m going to assume that’s a rhetorical question.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

NY Times to NCAA: Take back the playoffs!

Jeez, what a guy to pin your hopes on.

… For all the talk about priorities, the great conundrum facing the organization is what to do with the teams that compose the Football Bowl Subdivision, which competes for the Bowl Championship Series title. The N.C.A.A. administers 88 championships in 23 sports. But the B.C.S. operates its bowl games independently of the N.C.A.A.

“I’ve always found that unconscionable,” Cowen said.

Unlike a large number of their colleagues, Adams and Cowen want the N.C.A.A. to take back Division I football. It effectively lost control in 1984, when the Supreme Court ruled that the N.C.A.A.’s existing television contract violated antitrust laws.

Which means the only way to get it back is to get an antitrust exemption from Congress.  Does Michael Adams strike you as the kind of guy who can do that?  And even if he does, what then?  He’s still got to go back and get the conferences to agree to yield.  You think the SEC is ready to share?

“I don’t think they can take it back,” Shalala said, referring to the N.C.A.A. “I do not think the conferences are going to give it back. I don’t see that in my lifetime.”

Hint:  when Donna Shalala is your voice of reality, it’s time to reassess your argument.

Here’s the funniest part of all…

The issue is much larger than a debate about a national football playoff. It gets to the essential question of whether the tail is wagging the dog in football and basketball, the two biggest, most commercialized college sports. The commissioners of the B.C.S. conferences, as well as bowl organizers and some university presidents and boosters, refuse to cede control of a billion-dollar football enterprise to the N.C.A.A. This is the N.C.A.A.’s equivalent of health care reform, just as daunting and emotional and, in some ways, more of a mission impossible.

The NCAA already controls the basketball tourney.  Maybe Rhoden can explain to idiots like myself how it’s any less commercialized than the D-1 football postseason.

In the end, if the NCAA tries to take back football, it’s not going to be out of some sense of moral rectitude (although you can bet that there will be a nauseating amount of lip service given to that which will be lapped up by people like Rhoden).  It’ll be nothing more than an old-fashioned power play designed to bring the conferences and high profile coaches to heel.  And if it succeeds, we’ll see the Rhodens of the world wringing their hands a few years later about how the great promise of the NCAA taking back the football postseason was wasted.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA